Community college wins driver training grant

The California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office made the move to grant Long Beach City College a $511,098 grant to continue its lauded Harbor Driver Training Program.

The new grant was a welcome move, according to an LBCC release, as the program has been grant-funded since its 2013 inception and funding for the current round of training is set to be spent once the current training session ends.

The one-of-a-kind Commercial Driver Training Program is a collaboration between LBCC and the Harbor Trucking Association and was originally funded by a $440,000, two-year grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and supported by more than $450,000 in industry pledges.

“Part of LBCC’s goal is to advance the region’s economy and prepare the workforce for the area’s high-demand jobs,” said LBCC Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley in a statement. “This grant will allow LBCC to establish a more permanent partnership with the trucking industry and will allow us to build on our already successful and popular truck driver training program.”

Oakley will take over as the newest California Community College chancellor this coming December.

With the new grant, LBCC will be able to expand training in the program, beyond employees earning just truck driver’s licensing. The new funding will allow the school to incorporate more logistics training and supply chain curriculum to design a workforce training program.

Meanwhile, the normal recruitment and training of 120 annual participants (with a record of placing at least 70 percent of them) will continue with the funds provided.

The next initiative the LBCC will embark on is creating a consortium for transportation logistics, consisting of a mixture of cooperating companies within the trucking and distribution industry. In a release, the school said the consortium will serve as a means of gaining feedback from participating companies on revamping the program and expanding potential placement opportunities for truckers at companies within the consortium.

Grants such as the Walmart Foundation’s Delivering the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Workforce grant have ensured a portion of the program serves veterans and women.